The Miami basketball program’s ability to recruit transfers has been the backbone of recent success. Some of the best players at The U during Jim Larranaga’s tenure joined the Hurricanes as transfers.
Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, and Kenny Kadji were three of the biggest Miami basketball stars in the last decade who all transferred to the program. Head coach Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes made a splash this offseason when Elijah Olaniyi was added through the transfer portal from Stony Brook on May 17.
Olaniyi was one of the America East Conference’s biggest stars in 2019-20. Olaniyi who brings good defense and great scoring ability will have to sit out the 2020-21 season before playing in 2021-22 with the Hurricanes. ESPN ranked Olaniyi number 20 in its list of the best transfers that must sit out the upcoming season.
In his third year with the Seawolves, Olaniyi averaged 18 points per game to go with 6.5 rebounds. His performance earned him a spot on the First-Team All-American East team. Olaniyi led Stony Brook to a second-place regular-season finish this past year before the conference tournament was wiped away.
As a freshman, Olaniyi was named the 2017-18 American East Rookie of the Year. The combo guard is the third-highest ranked transfer to commit to an ACC school, behind Syracuse guard Alan Griffin (eighth), and Virginia small forward Trey Murphy III (18th).
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Louisville guard Carlik Jones who transferred from Radford is ranked number one for immediately eligible transfers. Jones averaged 20 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor, 40.9 percent on threes and 81.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The Miami basketball outlook following the 2020-21 season will be much different than the last two. With star guard Chris Lykes gone after this season, Olaniyi will likely immediately be asked to become one of the team’s main ball handlers and scorers.
Regardless, it seems evident that Olaniyi will start on the 2021-22 Miami team. Depending on incoming freshman Earl Timberlake following the 2020 season, the two could head the team a year from now. Olaniyi has a chance to be Miami’s biggest transfer acquisition since Rodriguez and McClellan back in 2013.